Licensing Committee doesn't vote on downtown strip club

Proposal stuck in committee
Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 12:25:51-04

A heated meeting on a proposed downtown Milwaukee strip club ends without a yes or a no vote.

The strip club did not pass out of the Licensing Committee, so it's stuck there until it is brought up again for a vote. That is despite more than three hours of testimony by Craig Ploetz, one of the owners who also runs Silk Exotic.

"You had no problems at the Silk Location ever?" said Alderman José Pérez.

"Correct," Ploetz said.

So Perez checked city records.

"Officers found MFD working on the victim in the parking lot. Victim had a gunshot wound to the stomach," said Jessica Celella, license division manager.

"I think there is a difference between having incidents that were dealt with in a certain way and having no incidents. And to me gunplay is incidents that you should have talked about," Perez said.

There was also testimony from nearby businesses including the Shops of Grand Avenue.

"This venue will hurt his ability to lease tens of thousands of square of commercial space in the Shops of Grand Avenue which is ground zero for trying to redevelop that stretch of Wisconsin," said Alderman Robert Bauman.

But some people who would live above the business think it's a positive to have the added security from the strip club including more lighting and security.

"I have grandchildren. I am a mother but I do not oppose it. I think this is a great thing to bring more jobs to Milwaukee," said Carmen Lax, who lives above the potential strip club.

Plus, it would have ended a lawsuit against the city over past efforts to stop a strip club from opening downtown. Now that is up in the air.

"We are a little puzzled by what happened today. We certainly presented a good case for granting a license but it's not over," said Christopher Meuler, the attorney for the proposed strip club.

"My motion would be to hold to the call of the chair," said Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.

What happens next is the big question. Since it is now on hold, it means it could be brought up again in three weeks or it could be on hold indefinitely.


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